The Birth of SoVital: My Personal Fitness Journey
The concept of SoVital Fitness Studios came out of my own personal fitness journey. More specifically, the idea came out of a nagging frustration that fitness should benefit me as a whole; not just physically. I have tried everything out there and through that process came to a defining place of what fitness really means to me. Fitness not only had to make me stronger physically, but it had to lift me up and continually cultivate a deep awareness and growth in the areas of mind, heart, body, and soul. I wanted to create a place that provided a skill-building foundation for all aspects of life. Skills like strength, versatility, flexibility, and open-mindedness. SoVital was born out of the idea that “if you want to do it, start here.”
My Childhood: Full of Adventure
In childhood, my parents modeled a life full of activity and adventure. They were avid dancers (ballroom in and out of the house; music on all the time), they loved the outdoors (the beach, especially), outdoor games, biking and week-long excursions to Maine. We played outside all day and into the night. I rode my bike or walked everywhere. We were allowed only 30 minutes of television (before dinner). It was a great way to grow up. As my teens approached, I engaged in more organized sports; field hockey, softball, and swimming. Physical activity during those years could be defined as fun and competitive.
My Twenties: Body Workouts
I became a certified personal trainer and aerobics instructor in my twenties. During that decade, I exercised because I liked the benefit it had on my physical body. I also began to understand the many benefits of working out with a group. It was so enriching to have an effect on people’s personal goals through teaching. I felt strong and physically fit during that decade but there was still something missing in my workouts.
My Thirties: Weightloss Workouts
After giving birth to my two children in my early 30s, I learned firsthand the struggle of coming back from a very significant weight gain. I gained 60 pounds with my first born and 38 with my second. That decade ushered in a new commitment to working out, one that was motivated by weight loss. I bought a treadmill and ran every day while the kids played. I walked, pushing the baby carriage, and also rode my bike with them in tow, in a bike seat or in a trailer behind me. I did this for my body but I also did this for my children. As a young mother parenting in an era where children rarely played outdoors and physical activity was structured and organized, it became very important for me to model one of my deepest beliefs….that staying active, being outdoors and being spontaneous in those activities is vital to living a happy life.
My Forties: Mental Health Workout
As I ushered in an even more hectic decade, I would find myself too busy to workout (as we all do). I did walk and hike but structured workouts were becoming less and less frequent. I started to suffer from various maladies; poor sleep, depression, joint pain, see-saw weight gain/loss, etc. During this time I also went back to school at Boston University to study Photography. It was a lifelong dream to pursue a photography career. I primarily photographed dance and sports and found the work to be like the subject matter; exhilarating, exciting, challenging and extremely physical. I was sore after every job and was developing shoulder issues due to the heavy equipment and found myself constantly depleted by the job I loved. I had not yet made the connection that I would suffer most on the days I didn’t work out (which, unfortunately, were becoming more and more frequent). I had to connect the dots. If I wanted to be strong mentally and emotionally, not to mention physically, I had to make working out a priority again. In this phase of my life, I found myself frustrated that my workouts were not truly supporting or helping me live my life. So I began exploring. I tried everything. Big box gyms. CrossFit. Health clubs. Single-discipline fitness studios. Meetup groups centered around activities. And every class imaginable. Nothing fit. I just could not find what I was looking for; in a schedule, in class offerings, in diversity.
My Fifties: Putting it all together
Around the time I turned 50, I discovered mat pilates and meditation. These two disciplines, combined with dance and yoga, literally saved my life. I was going through a very difficult divorce and I was experiencing daily pain and soreness from my job. I was also not sleeping well and I missed a sense of community and giving back in my photography business. The puzzle pieces came together slowly. I dedicated myself to a meditation program and found greater clarity and focus and a strength of mind and renewed determination to pursue a more fulfilled life. I sold my home and began the year-long venture of building a business.
The name SoVital came from the very notion that each of these workouts are so vital to living a purposeful and happy life. I am so grateful for the inspiration and help I have had along the way. Every past workout experience led me here. Every teacher that motivated me to push myself in new ways led me here. And, now, the most amazing SoVital staff has given structure and life to my dream. I am so grateful and humbled by the team at SoVital. This dream would not be a reality without them. They are so inspiring.
I hope you try us. I hope you find your balance, your center, and your whole self. Here. At SoVital Fitness Studios.
What is your fitness journey? Tell us about it below in the comments section.